Woman who confronted Black teen over phone at NYC hotel in custody: NYPD

New York News
SOHO, Manhattan (WABC) — A California woman seen on video tackling a Black teenager whom she falsely accused of stealing her phone at a Manhattan hotel is in custody in California, the NYPD says.

Police said Thursday night Miya Ponsetto is in California custody, not the hands of the NYPD, who sent detectives to California this week.

Officers with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department planned to make a traffic stop on the warrant for her arrest out of New York, but she refused to stop and drove slowly through her Piru, California, neighborhood.

When she came to a stop, she put up a fight and resisted arrest. ABC News reports she had to be physically restrained and arrested.

Ponsetto is being held on no bail and will have an extradition hearing. Once she is done with New York, she could also face charges in California after the pursuit and resisting arrest.

Ponsetto was confirmed as the woman in the Dec. 26 video by her attorney, Sharen Ghatan.

RELATED | Black teen accused of stealing phone in viral incident at NYC hotel says he’s shell shocked

Ghatan said Ponsetto is “emotionally unwell” and remorseful.

The conflict at the Arlo Hotel in lower Manhattan between Ponsetto and 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr. was recorded by his father, jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold, and put online.

In his video, an agitated woman is seen demanding her phone be returned while a hotel manager tries to settle the situation.

Security video later released by the NYPD shows the woman frantically chasing down the teen as he tried to exit the hotel’s front door. She’s seen grabbing him from behind before both tumble to the ground. Harrold has said the phone was returned by an Uber driver shortly afterward.

The altercation drew comparisons to cases like that of Amy Cooper, a white woman who was charged with filing a false report for calling 911 and saying she was being threatened by “an African American man” during a dispute in New York’s Central Park in May.

Harrold has called on the Manhattan district attorney to bring assault and battery charges against Ponsetto.

Ghatan said she spoke to her client, who lives near Los Angeles, on Thursday, and that “she strikes me as someone who’s unwell.”

She said Ponsetto “lashed out” over worry about her phone disappearing, and that it wasn’t racially motivated.

It “could have been anyone,” she said.

Watch: The Harrold family talks to ‘GMA’:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

———-
* Get Eyewitness News Delivered
* More Manhattan news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Submit a News Tip

Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a Reply